Homeowners can be eager to inspect damage to their property and begin the job of cleaning up and making repairs as soon as a cyclone’s winds ease.
However, it is best to wait until all hazards have been cleared, basic services are available to the area and the site is declared safe before starting work.
Fallen trees, downed power lines and even displaced wild animals, such as snakes, can pose a threat to safety in the immediate aftermath to a cyclone. Before and during any post-storm cleanup, the Queensland Government recommends taking the following steps:
- Check all power and gas supplies have been turned off if the building has sustained any damage.
- Only use a generator in a well-ventilated area.
- Watch out for dangerous wildlife, such as spiders and snakes, which may have entered your property.
- Avoid contact with floodwater.
- Wear protective clothing, such as long sleeves, long pants, gloves, and rubber boots.
- Treat and cover any wounds.
- Wear sunscreen and a hat when working outdoors.
- Stay well-hydrated.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and drinking-quality water. Use alcohol hand rub after cleaning, particularly if water is not clean.
- Protect yourself against mosquito bites.
- Ensure you have a first-aid kit onsite.
- Water pipes and storage may be damaged in a disaster. Before using any water:
- Check with your local council that supplies are safe.
- Run the taps for a few minutes to remove any contaminated water inside the tap.
- Remove any screens, flow regulators, and aerators.
- Thoroughly clean the tap and its parts with hot water and detergent.
- Apply a mild disinfectant to the tap and its parts.
- Rinse, reassemble the tap, and run the water for a few minutes before use. If you are unsure of the quality of the water, use bottled water or boil water before use.
- However, boiling water will not remove chemical contamination.
- Removing green debris and trees that are not causing a danger to life or property is the householder’s responsibility. However, following a major weather event, the State Emergency Service can chainsaw trees that have fallen if they are endangering people or property.